Ryman Hospitality Properties is preparing to shell out $210 million to buy the 35 percent of the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center it does not already own as well as 130 acres adjacent to the hotel complex near Denver.
Nashville-based Ryman Hospitality will use cash and revolving debt for the deal, which comes nearly a decade after the company (then still Gaylord Entertainment) laid the groundwork for the project by securing incentives. It’s also almost three years after Chairman and CEO Colin Reed and his team paid $242 million to grow their Gaylord Rockies stake to more than 60 percent. The purchase — $188 million for the last 35 percent of the hotel and $22 million for the acreage — is expected to close later this month.
The land is zoned for a mixture of uses, and Ryman officials say their ownership of it will let them control development to best complement their hotel. The development already is slated for a 300-room expansion but is likely to be followed by meeting spaces, leisure attractions and overflow hotels, among other things. The goal is to develop an “Opryland of the West” that can be a top regional destination for groups looking to meet in a market without casinos.
“Despite having just one full year of results prior to COVID-19, we believe Gaylord Rockies is positioned to be a strong contributor to our future performance, and we are thrilled to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity,” Reed said in a statement.
Ryman executives announced the Rockies deal on Monday alongside their first-quarter results, which were headlined by a $117 million net loss on revenues of $84.2 million. Occupancy at the company’s hotels was 16.4 percent versus 19.6 percent in the past three months of 2020, and operating losses came in at $63.5 million, up from $50.4 million late last year. The company’s cash burn for the quarter was $17.9 million, well below the range of $23 million to $26 million Reed and his team had forecast but up from the company’s Q3 and Q4 marks.
Ryman shares (Ticker: RHP) rose 3.5 percent during regular trading Monday and added another 2 percent after hours to reach $83. Year to date, they’re about 30 percent.